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Lumbar fusion from S1-L5-L4-L3 any success cases out there?

I am still recovering/rehabbing from my accident I had on Feb 25, 2013. To recap, I had a completely dislocated knee with torn ligaments, quad muscle, capsule, etc., in addition to an L5 burst fracture. The surgeon cut me open from the S1 thru L3 and removed broken off pieces of bone and added hardware to fuse everything from S1 to L3. I got a 2nd opinion from a much more experienced surgeon who said he may have not fused L3. I am depressed and frustrated from hearing this as I already feel terribly stiff and restricted in my back. Everyday is a struggle to get stretched out in an attempt to just stand up straight. My knee is also stiff and aches but I feel that I will recover in time with that injury as I had past experience 8 yrs ago with my other knee and was able to have it return to normal function. It's coming up on 6 months since my accident and my back is still really bothering me in terms of stiffness and tightness. I am hoping to hear from another back injury person with similar fusion experience to share our stories. I go to lots of PT sessions and take various medications to help deal with this but I feel myself slipping into a major depression episode. I have given up talking to my husband as he really doesn't understand what I'm going through and has actually made it worse by telling me he doesn't want me riding horses again. BTW, horses & equestrian sports was my passion and this injury happened as a freak accident and had nothing to do with Showjumping or riding in a risky manner. Sorry for the long essay, I've been having a pity party with myself today and needed a way to vent. :(


  • AllMetalAAllMetal Posts: 1,189
    edited 07/29/2013 - 3:30 AM
    The stiffness and range of motion will get better over time if you continue with the PT. Try to stay positive. Fusions/hardware takes adjusting....but it will happen.
    33yo mom of two. My surgical history...preadolescence scoliosis, kyphosis, and a hot mess.... 5 spine surgeries and lots of items added I wasn't born with (titanium, peek, surgical steel). Guess cremation is out. TSA loves me.
  • I agree with Allmetal, the stiffness and tightness will improve over time. I had a 5 level lumbar fusion so I speak from experience. I golf, walk, do floor and stretching exercises, and just about anything I want. You will get use to the tightness and with time regain your flexibility. Work hard at PT, the effort will pay off.

    Emergency surgery in March of 2006 for spinal infection of L 2 and L 3. During surgery, discovered I had Cauda Equina Syndrome. Spine became unstable after surgery and had 360 fusion with 10 pedicle screws, plates and rods in April of 2007.
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